I am going to risk offending my readers by dipping a toe into politics one more time. I would not do so if I were not so terribly worried about the issue at hand. I am deeply concerned, not as a political partisan, but as a Washington businesswoman. So I ask my readers to take off their own partisan political hats, consider my thoughts from a business perspective, and cut me a little slack.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock in Washington State, you are aware of the fact that there is an initiative on the ballot that will create our first state income tax. Bankrolled by Bill Gates, Sr. and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), it imposes stiff new income taxes on income above $200,000, or $400,000 for married couples. There’s a lot more to it than that, however. As always, the devil is in the details. There are also many other consequences of going this route. Consider these:
- We are one of only 9 states without an income tax. This is more than a benefit to each of us as residents. It also draws businesses here and keeps them here. Compare the job growth numbers of these nine states (18.2 %) to those states with the highest income taxes (8.4%). Are you looking for a job right now? Do we want to go this route and risk jobs in our state? I don’t think so.
- Think you will be spared the tax because you don’t earn $200K? Think again. There is a provision in the bill that would allow the legislature to extend the tax to everyone after two years. And this by a simple majority! Think our big-spending legislature would have any problem with this?
- Our state constitution specifically forbids an income tax. This initiative calls it an “excise” tax. Who do they think they are fooling? This is an end run around our constitution!
I could go on, but why? My biggest concern is this: At a time of severe economic crisis, with so many people feeling the pinch, it is way too easy to say, “Let’s soak the rich! They can afford it.” Then, people will vote for this idiocy and we will be stuck with it. Unfortunately, this will lead to unintended consequences that will hurt everyone. Don’t kid yourself that it will be otherwise!
There was an excellent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago. Entitled “The Gates of Confiscation”, it gives the most succinct analysis of the initiative and its likely results that I have seen. I urge my readers to find it and give it a thorough, thoughtful read.
If this convinces you to stand against this initiative, please pass the word! Stop this runaway train before it crashes!